What is a LEED-certified warehouse?

LEED-certified warehouses play an important role in the sustainability of the world’s supply chains. “LEED” stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This certification system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, verifies that buildings are constructed and operated in a way that reduces emissions, energy and water use, and improves environmental quality. LEED-certified warehouses are constructed to meet stringent standards.

How does a warehouse become LEED-certified?

When projects are in development, developers apply for LEED certification. A third party evaluates developments on five dimensions: sustainability of the site, water efficiency, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and energy and atmosphere. Depending on points accrued, warehouses receive one of four LEED certifications: Platinum, Gold, Silver or Certified.

What characteristics distinguish a LEED-certified warehouse?

A LEED-certified warehouse may look like other warehouses, but it has significant differences. A LEED-certified warehouse may accommodate solar panels on its roof, use LEDs for lighting, supply bike racks and be surrounded by landscaping that doesn’t require watering and absorbs runoff.

Why is a LEED-certified warehouse preferred?

As more companies value sustainability, they seek to ensure that their facilities, whether offices or warehouses, meet sustainability standards. In addition, a LEED-certified warehouse often uses less energy and other resources than a typical warehouse, thus saving costs. And because these types of buildings often employ more effective climate control and natural light than traditional architecture, LEED-certified warehouses are frequently viewed as more pleasant places to work.

What is the role of LEED-certified warehouses in e-commerce?

Increasingly, companies are locating LEED-certified warehouses in cities and near other large population concentrations. These infill warehouses serve a somewhat different function than larger spaces in more remote areas. They are high volume distribution centers facilitating the last touch as goods are delivered next-day or same-day to urban consumers. As e-commerce gains market share and becomes more prevalent, more companies are moving from more remote regional distribution centers to closer-in last touch locations for next-day and same-day delivery. As a result, LEED-certified warehouses are evolving from large spaces further out to smaller spaces closer into urban centers.to high-volume distribution centers, from which employees prepare individual shipments and handle returns.